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Wednesday, 27 June 2007 13:36
strange_complex: (Urbs Roma)
Had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] white_hart. Much Who geeking and lovely to catch up with her.

Then went Roman coin shopping. Meant to replace ones that got stolen - but ended up buying rather better ones! Actium issue made by Mark Antony to pay his troops, lovely Claudian bronze and beautiful Republican silver denarius of Roma. Better not carry these ones round in my purse!

GIP

Thursday, 20 October 2005 11:55
strange_complex: (Fortuna coin)
Allow me to introduce my new icon: Fortuna. She is the Roman Lady Luck, and is here to plug a long-felt gap in my icon collection. Henceforth, when people are doing exams, going for job interviews or simply heading out on an important date, Fortuna will be there to help me wish them good luck appropriately.

In fact, the coin I've taken her from is a rather interesting one, and worthy of comment in its own right. Let's take a look, shall we?

Sicinius' Fortuna )

The Fortuna coin is one of two major types produced by the moneyer Q. Sicinius in the crucial year 49 BC (the other one being a rather ravishing Apollo, with references to his struggle against Hercules for the Delphic tripod and an interesting role to play in contemporary jostling for his potential as a political icon). It's an aesthetically beautiful piece, but one rich with political symbolism as well.

49, you see, was the year that Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, and marched towards Rome to engage in conflict with Pompey and his 'Republican' supporters. The stakes were high: these were the two most powerful men in the Roman world, and whoever won would establish his dominance over both his fellow aristocrats and indeed the entire empire.

Sicinius' coin in this context )

Sicinius' faith, of course, was misplaced. Within a year, Pompey was dead. What happened to Sicinius himself is, as far as I know, unrecorded, but once he'd placed his name on coins which supported the Republican cause, it's unlikely to have been a happy ending for him.

Still, the coin as a whole is a fine work of both public relations and the die-cutter's art. It deserves replicating and commemorating. And I hope it will be more lucky for all of you than it was for Pompey.

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